Sparks

Ascension Garden

Memorable writing that sparks imagination. Lean in. Hear the writer’s voice on the page. Ascension Garden By Stacy Murison The first time, you drive by yourself. You have some idea you are going there, but are still surprised that you know the way, without her, through the turning and turning driveways. Left, left, left, left. Park near the rusted dripping spigot. The wind blows, unseasonably warm for November. You bring the candy bar, her favorite, the one from the specialty chocolate shop, the one with the dark chocolate and light green ribbon of mint. You try to eat yours, but instead, stare at hers, unopened, where you imagine the headstone will go and sob without sound while the wind French-braids your hair just as she would have, and that’s how you know she is here. She is still pushing cicada shells off white birch trunks with her toes, dancing around…

Sparks

Chuckstable

Memorable writing that sparks imagination. Lean in. Hear the writer’s voice on the page. Chuckstable By Lynn Levy Dana cracked her gum and then smoothed it against the roof of her mouth. She pushed her tongue through, making that all-important thin membrane that would become the bubble, and Bobby watched, thinking that the gum made her tongue look as pink as the boa she was wearing. Which was saying a lot. There was no explaining, really, why Dana was wearing a boa at all, but Bobby knew her better than to ask. Dana had on a boy’s tank top, cut-off jeans, and Goodwill Kiva sandals with one of the straps broken. She also had a scab on her left knee that grossed out the toughest kid in the neighborhood, and a thin white scar on her right arm from the time she’d fallen out of the big old oak on a dare that…

Sparks

Journey

Memorable writing that sparks imagination. Lean in. Hear the writer’s voice on the page. Journey By Pam Hiller The first leg of our trip to Nashville began with a Thursday afternoon flight. As Jon spent the three hours attending to job details on his laptop, I found myself increasingly staring at cloudscapes from my window seat. Snow covered mountaintops appeared to float on a sea of white clouds. Sunset over New Mexico’s red rock formations astounded with light, shadows, reflections, as earth and sky interacted. Dusk’s purple light soothed west Texas plains where vein-like rivers flowed. The night sky, increasing lightning flashes on the horizon, thrilled as our plane was diverted from Dallas to Wichita Falls. A question began emerging in my mind and heart. I felt myself a part of the grandeur, the immense mystery I was observing. On the other hand, it was apparent that an individual life…

Sparks

Water

Memorable writing that sparks imagination. Lean in. Hear the writer’s voice on the page. Water By Susie Moses All summer long I yearn to be in water. First choice – A freshwater lake, cool and clear, minerally, soothing to the skin. Quiet, still. Maybe at times a whitecap or two, but no big waves, just gentle undulations, giving the swimmer a sense of massage. A tickle of weedy underwater growth against a foot, a small fish swishing by a shin. Avoiding the mucky bottom.  Second choice – An East Coast ocean, edged by wide white sandy beach stretching for miles along the shoreline. Sweet breezes, bright white pelicans in formation against the stunningly azure sky. Watching them drop like stones into the waves to spear a fish each had been keeping an eye out for. Venturing into the water as it laps onto the hard sand, toes tickled by the…

Sparks

What energizes you?

Memorable writing that sparks imagination. Lean in. Hear the writer’s voice on the page. What Energizes You? By Bonnie Koagedal Energy is everywhere. We are made of life energy. A person can influence their life, health and others by sending energy through thought. I call these thoughts: prayers without movement. Still mindfulness is a prayer. Thoughts are energy similar to words. They carry power and pain. These teachings came to me recently as the pandemic shutdown escorted me into quiet times in one place called home. These teachings were told to me years and years ago. I did not grasp the fullness or capacity of energy through thought until the shutdown. This time was my vision quest. When we can become no thing, no place, no thought as Joe Dispenza teaches we can affect our energy above and beyond our bodies. I was fascinated and obsessed for several months about…

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Mycorrhiza

Memorable writing that sparks imagination. Lean in. Hear the writer’s voice on the page. Mycorrhiza* by Patricia Morris I live under the canopy of a grandmother valley oak. It grows in what is now called “my neighbor’s yard,” due to the way we white settlers swept through this what-is-now-called a nation over the past 300 years and took over everything. Massacred people who were living here, infected them with deadly diseases, tried to re-make them in our image. Declared that we “owned” the land, bought and sold it; built structures to live in, structures that got bigger and more permanent as time passed; built fences to delineate MINE. But before all this, there was the valley oak. Like all oaks, it began as an acorn, scrunched into the dirt next to a small seasonal creek. Its roots sank deeper each year, reaching for the water. Its mycorrhizal fungi spread wide,…

Sparks

An Exercise in Barbecuing

Memorable writing that sparks imagination. Lean in. Hear the writer’s voice on the page. This Sparks page on my website, The Write Spot, is, hopefully, a place for entertaining, fun, and enlightening reading. “An Exercise in Barbecuing” by DS Briggs is one of the funnier stories in Discoveries. The Write Spot to Jumpstart Your Writing Discoveries is for sale for a limited time for $6.99 An Exercise in Barbecuing DS Briggs Very recently I leapt into the world of backyard barbecuing. For years I have secretly wanted to learn to barbecue. In my family it was always my Dad’s domain. However, I love grilled foods and got tired of waiting for Mr. WeberRight to BBQ for me. I proudly acquired a very big, shiny new Weber BBQ. It came with a grown-up sized grill width of twenty-two and a half inches. I dubbed my new friend “Big Boy.” Unfortunately, for me,…

Sparks

The Bachelors

Memorable writing that sparks imagination. Lean in. Hear the writer’s voice on the page. The Bachelors By Nicole R. Zimmerman My father migrated from Cleveland to San Francisco in the mid-1960s with several boyhood friends. A decade later, my parents played occasional weekend tennis with my “uncle” Vic and his wife at Mountain Lake Park. Uncle Vic would bring us piroshki in thin paper bags, purchased from Russian bakers in the foggy avenues where they lived with their son in an Edwardian walk-up. The smell of the ground beef and onions wafting through the steam always made my mouth water, and the doughy pocket left a greasy stain. While our parents remained on the courts, we climbed rooftops and ran—just my older brother, our young friend, and me. There was a rope swing that swept over the lake from a muddy bank, but nobody jumped in or swam; it wasn’t…

Sparks

All Summer Long

Memorable writing that sparks imagination. Lean in. Hear the writer’s voice on the page. All Summer Long  By Deb Fenwick All summer long, busy house sparrows flit in the eaves of our house. Each morning, they collect tiny twigs and things I rarely notice from the ground and end up making a life with them. Seedlings sprout and reach toward a warm, welcoming sky.  Children ride bikes and screech with delight. No hands! Look at me! Watch! When the sun sets at nine o’clock, those same children, liberated from the rigidity of school night routines, line up for ice cream with wide, wild eyes as fireflies send signals across the garden. The crickets just keep chirping.  All summer long, there’s lake swimming in midwestern waters that have been warmed by the sun. And better still, there’s night swimming where a body, unfettered by the weight of gravity,  gets its chance…

Sparks

Los Padres Lope

Memorable writing that sparks imagination. Lean in. Hear the writer’s voice on the page. Los Padres Lope By DS Briggs They hit the trailhead of the Lone Condor Trail in Los Padres National Forest. After last night’s party complete with hot tub and paper umbrella drinks, Michelle was in a fragile state. Hungover was not how she envisioned starting a ten-day backpack. The trail started gently. The meadows still full of flowers and new greenery. The transformation from scrub and madrone to wild grasses and wild flowers was amazing and spoke to the renewal of life. The vigil she stood last April seemed long, long ago. For days they had wondered if anything would be left of the forest. The fire capriciously jumped here and there. Michelle’s Go Bag was packed and stowed safely in her red convertible. While the ashy gray skies rained over the hillside community, in the…